A mum-of-five has passed away after her Tesla crashed and caught fire, with the batteries of the car making it difficult for firefighters to tackle the flames.
Christine Corder, of Mason, Ohio, was driving on Gaskins Road in the early hours of Monday morning, November 8, when her car overturned and caught fire after it struck an object on the side of the road.
The car was completely destroyed in the fire, with pieces of debris reportedly still being found in the area.
In the wake of the incident, Mason City Schools released a statement to confirm Corder had been killed in the crash.
Captain Mike Masterson of the Pierce Township Fire Department explained standard car fires are more straightforward to extinguish, saying: ‘Once we get the fire extinguished, it’s out. It’s done, we’re good to go.’
However, the Tesla complicated efforts as firefighters found ‘the batteries are shorting out on us, and they just keep generating heat and keep reigniting.’
The chief said the risk could continue for days, WCPO News reports, though he stressed it does not mean electric cars are more likely to catch fire.
He said: ‘We’re just not all that familiar with electric vehicle fires. In fact, this is the first one that we’ve had in our area. We’ll use this as a learning experience… It’ll shape policy and procedure in the future for us.’
Police were alerted to the crash through a 911 call, The Independent reports, in which the caller said: ‘Oh it is a car! No, it’s a car. It’s upside down. Oh my God.’
Tracey Carson with Mason City Schools said the district is ‘so devastated by the loss’, adding: ‘Hoping that the family knows just how very much that our community is ready to wrap around them as they, obviously, process this incredibly shocking event.’
Local resident Charles Gate said he had ‘never seen anything like this before’, and while police have not released the cause of the crash, he noted ‘sometimes [drivers] go down the street a little fast’.
He continued: ‘Some people like to bypass the lights and I think they can fly down one of these, this street here to miss one of the lights.’
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Corder’s family, including her five children, following the incident.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677